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Former conscripted laborers asking South Korean government to exercise diplomatic protection rights - will the new administration reveal the core of the issue?

2022-07-06  Category:Forced to work problem

Former conscripted laborers asking South Korean government to exercise diplomatic protection rights  -  will the new administration reveal the core of the issue?

Photo by Remi Cormier (licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0)

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Ask the government to invoke diplomatic protection

On the 4th, the plaintiffs announced on the 4th that they would request that the South Korean government invoke its "diplomatic protection rights" . This can be said to be the core part in a sense. The original point of contention is whether the issue is within the scope of the 1965 Japan-Korea Claims Agreement, under which both countries waived their diplomatic protection rights, or whether it is outside the scope.

Waiver of diplomatic protection means that the plaintiff's government does not provide diplomatic protection when an individual or group files a lawsuit against a conflicting country. In other words, the country is not touched.

What is the basis for finding a tort?

The rationale that the Korean Supreme Court (Supreme Court) stated in its judgment in the 2018 forced labor trial that it was outside the scope was the colonial tort theory that Japanese rule itself was an illegal act (such international law did not exist at the time). It also includes the fact that the requisition itself is an illegal act by the state (the question of whether it is forced labor or forced to work), an issue that remains unresolved depending on the claims agreement. But this conclusion has already been reached.

When Gunkanjima was registered as a UNESCO heritage site, the Korean side had already acknowledged that it was ``forced to work'' as a legal conscription under the Forced Labor Convention, 1930.

The most important and ambiguous part

This is the major premise, the core, and the weakest part of the judgment issued by the Supreme Court regarding the forced labor judgment. The Supreme Court hardly explained the most important part of the judgment it handed down, and did not provide any basis. The judgment was made citing the premise of the law.

South Korea seems to be overjoyed over the sentencing of a 101-year-old man to five years in prison in Germany.

Everything is determined by this decision

The determination of whether or not it falls within the scope of diplomatic protection will indicate everything about conscripted labor. In the Hyun Moo-hyun administration, the South Korean government compensated for the forced labor issue as an issue within the scope of the 1965 agreement. The Korean government's position on this issue has already been released.


Japan will not solve Korean domestic problems

No matter how much we discuss this, it is a domestic problem for South Korea, and it is a legislative, administrative, and judicial issue. It should be common sense to know that international treaties and agreements are not affected by a country's domestic issues. Is President Yun Seok-Yeol saying that Japan's strength is necessary to resolve domestic issues?